PHILADELPHIA,PA – January 9. 2019 – Today, in response to Mayor Jim Kenney’s acknowledgement of inaccurate and inconsistent property tax assessments, Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones Sánchez (7th District) requested legislative action to ensure that longtime residents’ taxes are assessed in a way that is fair, transparent, and not artificially inflated by new construction incentives such as the ten-year tax abatement.
Councilwoman Quiñones Sánchez said,
“I am thankful to Mayor Kenney for hitting the pause button on reassessment; but I am concerned that delays will exacerbate existing flaws, such that many residents will continue to pay too much, while the city will continue to permanently forgo revenue for schools, streets, and other vital services. For this reason, I have called for a January 29 City Council hearing on Bill No. 170467, which directs property assessment officers to immediately recalculate values in a way that is fair, transparent, easy to understand, and not skewed against longtime homeowners.”
Councilwoman Quiñones Sánchez’s legislation requires that the Office of Property Assessment comply with state and local requirements for computing residential property values, including a discount for the neighbors of tax abated properties to adjust for artificial, non-taxable value. Upon the bill’s introduction in 2017, Councilwoman Quiñones Sánchez explained, “The sale of your neighbor’s home should not increase your tax bill simply because your new neighbor is entitled to a tax abatement. You deserve a tax bill that represents the true value of your property.”
Councilwoman Quiñones Sánchez has spent more than a decade on City Council fighting to keep longtime residents safe, warm, and healthy in their homes through AVI assistance for vulnerable homeowners, a Homestead Exemption of $40,000, the Longtime Owner-Occupant Program (LOOP), a property tax deferral program, an extension of the Senior Tax Freeze Program, and a Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund for the preservation and production of affordable homes. In 2012, Councilwoman Quiñones Sánchez joined Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) in requiring OPA to publish a fair, transparent methodology for assessing residential property at actual value.
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